Interview with Duncan Titmarsh, UK LCP.
Brickset: What is a LEGO Certified Professional (LCP)?
Duncan: An LCP is someone who has a business based around LEGO bricks, and is recognised by LEGO as a trusted partner. Typically, that means we build models for clients or for our own artistic portfolio, facilitate LEGO related events and so on. You can read more on the LCP page on LEGO.com.
How did you become one, and how long have you been one?
Becoming a LCP is a fairly arduous process. First, you need to have a business either part or full time creating models with LEGO. Then, you have to apply to LEGO. Your application is evaluated by the other LCPs who also look at your work and then, with Tormod at LEGO, decide if you can join the program. I’ve been an LCP for just over a year. Currently I’m the only LCP in the UK.
Are there other LCPs and do you meet up with them?
There are 13 LCPs worldwide. Most are in the USA but there are also some in Canada, Singapore, Germany, Australia and me in the UK. We meet once a year in Billund and have regular teleconferences to discuss what we’re working on, get the latest news from LEGO, and so on.
Do you receive any training from LEGO?
No, none whatsoever! We are expected to be expert builders already, in fact that’s part of the selection process.
What services do you provide?
Mostly building models to commission, both 3D sculptures and mosaics, which are very popular, and also attending events ranging from birthday parties to trade shows where I’ll be asked to build something relating to the trade concerned while there.
What sort of models have you built?
Let me think… recently I’ve built a 6’ tall toothbrush for Philips, Bertie Bassett, half of Wembley stadium – which took ages and ended up being about 10’ long and 1.5’ high, The Birmingham Bullring Centre, various hats, mascots, mosaics and company logos.
Only half of the stadium?
Yes, it was going to be displayed next to a mirror to make it ‘whole’ and I was going to provide the company with enough bricks to enable kids to build the other half at a special event, but unfortunately that hasn’t happened yet.
Do you glue the models?
Sometimes, if the client requires it, but mostly not.
Where do you get the LEGO bricks from?
LCPs have access to parts of LEGO’s IT system and can order parts directly from them, in the same way that the LEGOLAND parks do.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve just finished a set of cranes, built roughly to LEGOLAND miniland scale, for a company that, makes cranes. I’m also putting together 200 kits of a smaller version of them, with instructions, which they’ll be giving away to clients.
What’s the strangest request you’ve had?
Can I build a full-size horse complete with rider, in a week! People don’t have an appreciation of the time needed to do large models like this and the time it takes to get the bricks from LEGO, which is usually 4 to 6 weeks. Of course I keep quite a large stock which is enough for most normal requests, but nowhere near enough to recreate a stallion!
Is it just you working on these projects, or do you have help?
When I started out Bright Bricks was just me, but recently Ed Diment (legomonster on flickr) joined the company as my business partner. Ed is well known for building large and impressive LEGO models and it was a logical choice to approach him. With two of us we have more flexibility in terms of what we can build and the number of jobs we can take on.
If people reading this want to commission you to create a model for them, what sort of information do you need and how should they get in touch with you?
The best way to get in touch is through our website, http://www.bright-bricks.com/, where you can also see more of my work. I need to know what you want a model of, what size it needs to be and of course when you want it. But unfortunately I can’t always do ‘tomorrow’!
Finally, I’m sure everyone wants to know, how much does it cost to have you build a model?
It depends in the size and complexity of the model, how long it’s going to take and of course the number of bricks needed.